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Garcetti Gives Speech As L.A.'s "Salesman-In-Chief"

Benjamin Li |
July 1, 2013 | 7:01 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

(SterlingDavisPhoto/Flickr Creative Commons)
(SterlingDavisPhoto/Flickr Creative Commons)
On a sweltering Sunday afternoon, a massive crowd of Angelenos watched on as 8th grader Kenia Castillo read the ceremonial oath of office for the newly inaugurated Mayor Garcetti.

Kenia Castillo, a 13-year-old daughter of a janitor, was a symbolic reminder that Garcetti’s priorities are in line with the rest of Los Angeles – to provide a secure, well-run city full of opportunity for the next generation of Angelenos. 

The oaths were followed by a speech from Garcetti to commemorate his inauguration and outline his approach to improving the city of Los Angeles over the next few years, as well as free festivities open to the public, including live performances from the electronic music icon Moby and comedian Jimmy Kimmel.

Garcetti’s commemorative inaugural address revealed a “back-to-basics” strategy on building a better Los Angeles, starting with promoting business activity and strengthening the city’s economic bedrock.

“We need to start with the most basic task of all,” said Garcetti to the throng of Angelenos at City Hall. “Hanging a big neon sign on our city that says Los Angeles is open for business.” 

The self-proclaimed “salesman-in-chief” of L.A. claimed that these trying times for Los Angeles required a “back-to-basics mayor focused above all on our economy and on jobs,” and that was exactly what he “intended to be.”

See Also: Garcetti's 'Back To Basics' Promises Resonate With L.A. Voters

Garcetti announced to the people gathered at City Hall that he is aiming to growing the economy by reducing unnecessary government policies that inhibit the growth of local business, such as business taxes.

He also spoke about stimulating more jobs and investments in the technology industry on the Westside, as well as incentivizing film production to stay in Los Angeles rather than opting for cheaper alternatives in other cities and states with lower taxes.

Garcetti declared the coming efforts to crack down on the inefficiencies of local Los Angeles agencies, by pledging funds to “fix the potholes and pave the streets, pick up the litter, fix the sidewalks and trim the trees,” and making Los Angeles a more “customer-friendly government, one you can actually reach on the phone” by bringing customer service lines back up in local courthouses or DMV’s. 

Garcetti also announced his plans for general managers of various Los Angeles departments and agencies to re-apply for their jobs by “giving me their ideas about where we can save money, how we can better provide city services."

The former mayor Antonio Villraigosa was thanked for leaving Los Angeles a "safer, greener, and stronger" city, even in the midst of a historic economic crisis.

Following the speech, the City Hall block party was awash in a festive, hopeful atmosphere, in which Los Angeles citizens enjoyed free performances and celebrated Mayor Garcetti’s inauguration and the many promised improvements under Garcetti’s administration.

However, despite the optimism and confidence among the politically engaged citizens at City Hall’s block party, Mayor Garcetti’s recent victory in the mayoral elections reveal an unsettling truth about Los Angeles’ political participation.

According to the Huffington Post, barely 16% of 1.8 million registered voters in Los Angeles contributed to Mayor Garcetti's hard-won victory, a historic low in voter turnout even in a city already infamous for its political apathy.

Reach Staff Reporter Benjamin Li here. 



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